Thursday, October 27, 2011

Condolences and Congratulations

This weekend is my dad’s birthday, my oldest daughter’s birthday and my birthday. I am trying to maintain some joy around these events. However, I am currently watching my dad succumb to cancer in a hospice facility.

To add to this, as I am watching one life end, I am also preparing for a new life to enter the world. My wife, Nora, and I recently found out that we are expecting our seventh child in the spring. Unfortunately, the first trimester is usually pretty rough on my wife, and this pregnancy is no exception. She has been battling some serious morning sickness most of the past month, meaning I have had to pull some double duty around my household to keep things in order. It also feels like most everyone I have been dealing with recently has been in a horizontal position.

It is not lost on me - the symbolism between this end and beginning. I was able to tell my dad about his impending grandchild and even in his diminished state, he was able to communicate that he thought it might be a boy. He also sounded happy about the news, which was good, because I think if this were a few years ago, he may have thought my wife and I were insane and been overly worried on our behalf. Believe me, there is enough worry to go around.

It’s a good thing I draw pictures for a living, because all this art has been very therapeutic for me. I certainly appreciate how busy you have all kept me over the past few months. Thank you for that. Also, keep going! With another child on the way, I will definitely need all the help I can get. (You don’t know how much my wife and I dread being beholden to the diaper and wipe industry yet again.)

I don’t have much else to say except thank you on behalf of me and my family for the support you have given my art. It fills my days and has enabled me to make a real living, something my dad always wanted for me. I know that he didn’t really “get” what I did for a living. Occasionally I would show up at my parent’s house with a new book I had illustrated or a deck of cards with my art on it or my computer open showing them how many people were ordering monsters or superheroes or whatever the heck I was drawing that week. They remain puzzled, but at the very least my dad knows that I’m not sitting at home pretending to be busy.

That’s it. My update. I’ve struggled with the issue of letting complete strangers know what is going on in our lives. I don’t know why I feel obligated, but I do. Maybe it’s my coping mechanism; talking to the people inside my computer. I’m off again, for who knows how long, to try and “get the big contract” as my dad told me to. Wish me luck. With everything. And say a few prayers for me as well.

Lord knows I need it.